Taking the Field of Glory: GAA Monthly
Midwest Gaelic Athletic Association
By Vincent Beach
The Midwest Division held their annual general meeting on Saturday, November 6th, at the iconic Flat Iron Café in Cleveland’s Flats. Attending clubs included Akron Celtic Guards, Buffalo Fenians, Buffalo Na Fianna, Cleveland St Pat’s – St Jarlath’s, Pittsburgh Banshees, Roc City Gaelic, Pittsburgh Celtics, and Syracuse GAA.
After each club provided a summary of their bounce-back year (from Covid), officer reports were provided. Highlighting the year were the Cleveland Memorial 7’s in May, the Midwest Adult Invitational in Detroit in July, the Midwest Finals in Pittsburgh, and the division’s prominence at the USGAA Finals in August.
Hopes for the following year were discussed, including growth of the Midwest Invitational, a return of youth games including a Midwest Youth Invitational (sidelined in 2021 due to Covid), growth of multiple teams within clubs, and plans for camogie. The Midwest Board went unchallenged in their positions for 2022 except where members decided not to run again.
The 2022 board consists of Chairperson Paul Mulcaire (Buffalo Na Fianna), Vice Chairperson Matt Lamot (Buffalo Fenians), Secretary Keith Knott (Akron), Treasurer Damon Margida (Cleveland), Registrar David Roberts (Pittsburgh Celtics), Public Relations Officer Sean Stayduhar (Pittsburgh Pucas), Youth Officer Garrett O’Donahue (Detroit City Harps). Stepping down were Rob Tierney (Secretary – Pittsburgh) and Sarah Dunn (Treasurer – Cleveland). Comhghairdeas le bord nua agus go raibh míle maith ag na hoifigigh prióira. Moving forward the group discussed delegates and travel to Charlotte for the USGAA annual Convention (AGM) on November 12 through 14.
There are twenty-four motions on the docket for the USGAA Convention. Motion 1 looks to add the Games Development Officer as a convention elected official to the executive board. Motion 2 and 3 once again look to limit future motion and regulation submissions (respectively) to a two-year waiting period if they are voted down at Convention. This motion, like many other pertaining to player classifications and on-field numbers, are perennial proposals.
Motion 4 aims to limit sponsorship deals made by any USGAA entity where the sponsor is in direct conflict with a current USGAA sponsor unless otherwise approved by the USGAA County Secretary. As the USGAA board continues to secure quality sponsorships and grants, that money is being dispersed to Divisions and often eventually clubs.
Along the same vein, in Motion 5, the USGAA Board offers to lessen the cost burden of hosting the Convention by paying for meeting rooms and delegate lunches. Motion 6 looks to address minor’s (under 18) participation on adult teams. Motions 7 through 21 play the game of changing the numbers of home grown, Irish born, and sanctions on the field at one time for various codes and grades.
See comment on Motions 2 and 3 above. Motions 22, 23, and 24 look to address the USGAA playoffs: to eliminate the requirement for scoreboards at each field, to reduce the registration, administration, and referee tent size, and to require personnel to pick-up USGAA guests, dignitaries, referees, et cetera from the local airport [and transport them to the tournament hotel].
In Cleveland, the GAA club will host their annual general meeting on December 4 (Saturday) at the Flat Iron Café. Like other AGMs, reports will be shared, motions debated, and new officers elected. Plans are also in the works for January through March indoor sessions geared towards player recruitment and offseason comradery. Stay tuned.
Go raibh míle maith agaibh (thanks y’all) to our readers and supporters. We need your help and involvement but would most like to share the fun of Irish sport and Cleveland community with you. Consider getting involved at any level.
Fáilte (welcome) to all. The Gaelic Athletic Association is Ireland’s largest sporting organization and a bit of home for the Irish abroad here in the US of A. Beyond sports, the Association also promotes Irish music, song and dance, and the Irish language as an integral part of its objectives. Cleveland GAA is open to all who want to play competitive sports, meet new people, and join an athletic, fitness-minded club for all ages.
Follow @ClevelandGaelic on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the 2022 activities for Men, Women, and Youth, or visit ClevelandGAA.com.
*Vincent Thomas Francis Xavier Beach is a proud Greater Clevelander and emigrant of Michigan. He joined the St. Pat’s Gaelic Football Club in 1999 and, with much help, is the current caretaker of the Cleveland GAA. His Irish is a cross of dialects from the University of Cincinnati and An Cheathrú Rua. With his wife, Michelle, he enjoys watching time absolutely fly by as their children, Ambrose (12), Bernadette (10), and Cedric (7), grow. His other hustles are coaching CYO basketball at St. Mary of Berea, coaching soccer in Olmsted TWP, teaching Construction Management at CWRU, and laying down some engineering skills on local concrete and water/wastewater projects.